Compact Core of Galaxy M32

NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope clearly shows the central core of the elliptical galaxy M32. This green-light image was taken with HST's Wide Field and Planetary Camera (WPIPC), in high resolution mode, on August 17, 1991.

The steady increase in brightness of M32 towards its center is readily apparent in the image, showing that the stars in M32 are strongly concentrated towards its nucleus, as if drawn into the center and held there by the gravitational field of a massive black hole. Theoretical models suggest that the structure of M32 is consistent with a central 3 million solar mass black hole.


Tod R. Lauer/NASA/ESA

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Release date:8 April 1992, 06:00
Size:2950 x 2365 px

About the Object

Name:IRAS 00399+4035, M 32, Messier 32, NGC 221
Type:• Local Universe : Galaxy : Component : Center/Core
Distance:2 million light years

Image Formats

Large JPEG
2.1 MB
Screensize JPEG
120.8 KB


Position (RA):0 42 41.82
Position (Dec):40° 51' 53.45"
Field of view:0.38 x 0.30 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 76.8° left of vertical

Colours & filters

555 nm Hubble Space Telescope

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